Rats played hide-and-seek with German scientists

A group of experts from Germany has found a need for collective entertainment in rodents.

The results of the study were published September 13 in the journal Science.

Scientists have proposed to laboratory rats complex role-playing game – hide-and-seek. The participants of the experiment were six young individuals aged from one to five months. The conditions of the game and the principle of alternating roles clever animals have mastered in two weeks.

When the rodents were given the role of “search”, they were guided by memories of the previous hiding places of the researchers, made characteristic sounds, and played the role to the winning end: they did not stop until they found hiding.

When it was their turn to hide, the rats chose one of several possible places and silently waited to be found. It is worth noting that the rodents preferred exclusively opaque hiding places.

Notably, the rats were not rewarded for their success with treats but were encouraged and motivated solely by social interaction. Consequently, the rodents played with the scientists for fun rather than “working for food”.

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